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September 15, 2019 | Rome, Italy
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Taverna del Bronzino

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Via delle Ruote, 27/r
Florence, IT-FI 50129 Italy

Excellent service, food presented with flair, and plenty of space between tables attract Florentine business executives at lunch, plus friends, couples, and well-heeled tourists at dinner. The 16th-century palace once belonged to Santi di Tito, architect and student of painter Bronzino.

Begin with hard-to-find Tarese del Valdarno ham plus other assorted Tuscan meats (€15). Seafood arrives daily from Viareggio, a hit with locals — excellent tagliolini all’astice in a tomato-wild fennel sauce (€15); pasta with Sardinian botarga prepared tableside is popular. Tuna with radicchio and wild ginger sauce (€23) was tempting, but we opted for the superb grilled stead, tagliata di manzo with grated black truffles and grilled vegetables (€25). Ossobuco with wild black rice or Sera (Angiolini) lamb are other good options.

A French couple ordered house white, we tried economical red Alberese Pellegrone Morellino di Scansano produced on government-owned land (Pupille is a good traditional alternative). Others splurged on rarer wines, all from their well-furnished cantina downstairs. (“When businessmen are dealing in billions though, sometimes they just drink water,” notes Roberto.) One might wish for more romantic lighting or artsy decor, but flawless service pampers — relax and enjoy delightful but unpretentious formality.

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